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03/28/2017 11:13 AM

Law Enforcement to Stop Distracted Drivers with U Drive. U Text. U Pay.

Throughout the month of April, law enforcement agencies in North Dakota will be participating in the national U Drive. U Text. U Pay. campaign, which is scheduled in April each year in recognition of Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Officers will be on the lookout for texting drivers this month, strictly enforcing North Dakota’s ban on texting and driving.

Composing, reading or sending any electronic message or using a communications device to access the Internet while driving is illegal in North Dakota for drivers of all ages and punishable with a fine of $100. The law applies to any driver of a vehicle in a traffic lane, even while stopped at a red light or in a construction zone.

“While distractions like texting while driving may feel harmless, they are incredibly dangerous,” said Karin Mongeon, NDDOT Safety Division Director. “In fact, texting and driving makes you 23 times more likely to crash. We support law enforcement’s efforts this month to be on alert for those who are texting and driving and we encourage all North Dakotans to watch the road and not their phones.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 3,477 people nationwide were killed and an estimated 391,000 injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers in 2015. This is a 9 percent increase in motor vehicle fatalities due to distracted driving compared to the previous year.

The NDDOT administers federal grant funding as part of an overall effort to prevent deaths and injuries on North Dakota roads. Learn more about these and other traffic safety initiatives at dot.nd.gov, ndcodefortheroad.org or join the conversation on the Code for the Road Facebook or Twitter pages.

View memorials on the North Dakota Crash Memorial Wall of families who have lost a loved one due to a distracted driver at ndcodefortheroad.org/memorial.

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